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Old 3rd April 2016
Here for the gear
vocal mic test - sm57, beta58, pg58, e845, e865, e965, vx10lo, re510, kms105, dfacto

Intention of this test was to find best mic capsule for the money for live situation, as we are going to buy new wireless mics for our theatre.

Some of tested mics are not available in wireless version. This was intentional for direct comparison, as some of these mics are well known.

Behringer X32 preamps, gain setting are written in file names, set against loud pink noise filled space. Singer did the best job possible in keeping the distance from the mics even.

Played and recorded at 48kHz 24bit through USB to Ardour (backing tracks was unfortunately converted from mp3 files).

Backing tracks was played to main PA at concert loudness level. Backing tracks was also played to the monitor in front of singer, side monitor was not used. Vocal in PA and monitor was compressed to accommodate peaks. Hall reverb (1.5s) on vocal was used for signal going to PA. Main PA signal had some ~3dB notch filters to avoid feedback.

PA is Martin Audio 4x H2, 2x S218. Monitor is Martin Audio F15. Crown Macrotech amps.

Microphone files contain live situation stage bleed. Files have no processing, so you can play them on your system as if the real signal from vocal mic was there (except different acoustics for bleed, maybe different PA and no monitor, mics and singer needed).

We recorded each song on three mics in a row to keep vocal consistent, then next song, then next one. Mics were changed after three songs on three mics were recorded. Some takes was redone, no cut.

Order of recording:
- sm57, beta58, pg58
- e845, e865, e965
- vx10lo, re510, kms105
- dfacto

After recording I did some extensive tests with equalizer and compressor on the vocal alone and mixed with backing music on the same PA (less singer abuse). I was looking for how easy it is to EQ the mics for our particular space (and this particular vocal).

My favourites: dfacto (natural, very present), kms105 (velvety)

Surprised by e865 (in this particular situation and after some eqing e865 and dfacto, they sounded pretty similar, but dfacto more detailed and natural).

Surprised by re510 (I really liked the color of this microphone, making it my second after kms105)

I found e965 too sibilant (no use without deesser). It also had biggest problems with plosives (for me comparable to SM57) despite of singers distance.


Photos coming soon on the same link.

ARTIST: Katt Music

Hope you find this test interesting. Thank you for interest and attention.